New learning centre improves educational options for regional students

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday
The new learning centre was officially opened at St Ignatius College last week.

A new learning centre at one of the Catholic schools on Victoria’s regional Bellarine Peninsula is expected to improve educational options for local students.

St Ignatius College in Drysdale – just under 100 kilometres from Melbourne – has celebrated the opening of its $24 million MacKillop Centre, thanks to financial support from the Victorian state government and the Catholic Development Fund. The centre, which featured in the government’s 2019-23 Non-Government Schools Capital Fund, will serve the school’s senior students.

The facility features a 400-seat lecture theatre, general learning areas, and a dedicated maker space and is the latest Victorian school to showcase the benefits of Victorian Government investment into building, expanding and renovating independent and Catholic schools across the state.

The 2023-24 Victorian budget committed a further $450 million to upgrade and build low-fee Catholic and independent schools across the state and has surpassed $1 billion since the fund’s inception. The Victorian government aims to open 100 new schools by 2026.

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Bellarine MP Alison Marchant attended the centre’s official opening and blessing (conducted by Archbishop Peter Comensoli) and used the event as an opportunity to emphasise that elite-level facilities must be accessible to all students.

“The Victorian government is making sure that all Victorian schools have the best facilities. We can’t be the Education State without improving schools across all sectors,” she said.

“Non-government schools are an important part of Bellarine, providing local families with choice when it comes to educating their children. Local families can now enjoy world-class learning facilities at Saint Ignatius College.”

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Claire Halliday has an extensive career as a full-time writer - across book publishing, copywriting, podcasting and feature journalism - for more than 25 years. She lives in Melbourne with children, two border collies and a grumpy Burmese cat. Contact: claire.halliday[at]